Monday, February 20, 2012

Birding for the GBBC (OWT)

1. bog-kab Stirling Street Bog 2-18-12

All weekend I have been counting birds around Massachusetts for the Great Backyard Bird Count. The Great Backyard Bird Count is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is done every year for the 4 days over President’s Day weekend. It is a citizen science project that helps get people involved with nature and helps track bird populations during the winter time. The GBBC, as it is fondly called, was my springboard to becoming a birder, instead of just a bird watcher. So, besides counting birds in my own backyard, I walked down to the Stirling Street bog every day so far and counted birds.

2. kingfisher-kab Male Belted Kingfisher 2-18-12

On Saturday I saw this First Of The Year (FOTY) male Belted Kingfisher at the bog.

3. revere beach-kab Revere Beach 2-18-12

Later in the day Gus and I drove down to Revere Beach and…

4. sidewalk-kab while Gus walked the sidewalk…


5. ocean-kab I headed for the water’s edge…


6. sand-kab where I saw patterns in the sand,


7. gulls-kab Herring Gull at Revere Beach 2-18-12

and gulls,

8. gulls-kab gulls,


9. more gulls-kab and more gulls!



10. birdge-kab On Sunday I decided to see if I could find any birds at West Parish Cemetery.


11. west parish cemetery-kab West Parish Cemetery in Andover 2-19-12

While the cemetery seemed like it would be a perfect place to count birds I did not see  or hear a single one, even though I was there for a half an hour. It was such a beautiful day and so peaceful that I did not mind. I entered a bird count of zero for this location, because the scientists need to know where the birds aren’t as well as where they are.

Baker’s Meadow 

11. ring-necked ducks-kab Ring-necked Ducks 2-19-12

From West Parish Cemetery I headed for Baker’s Meadow, an AVIS property, where I found Mallards, Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks.

12. mute swan-kab Mute Swan at Baker’s Meadow 2-19-12

I also found a pair of of Mute Swans.

Sacred Heart Park in Andover

13. robins-kab American Robins at the park 2-19-12

My final stop for the day was a Sacred Heart Park in Andover where robins ruled as I counted over 50 of them in the woodland eating bittersweet berries. I walked down along the river where I counted a few Canada Geese and a couple of mallards. As I headed back to my car the shadows were growing longer and the robins had landed in the soccer field dotting the lawn with their bright red breasts.

13. COHA-kab Cooper’s Hawk in my backyard 2-19-12

Back Home again the Cooper’s Hawk was still hanging around the backyard keeping all my small birds away. It was here yesterday and has been here all afternoon. Earlier it was perched in a tree, but now it was down on the brush pile where all the sparrows like to hang out. None of them dared show its face, but a little red squirrel came out and scolded the hawk, then darted back into the brush. Today is the last day of the GBBC. I wonder what birds I will see today!

Our World Tuesday!

15. sundog-kab

Sundog seen at Revere Beach on Saturday


  1. Looks like you had fun as always out counting birds! Wish you were here to count mine ;)

  2. Cool sundog! Looks like you have had a good weekend!

  3. You are so devoted. Makes me feel a little lazy counting birds from my computer desk. But then I am a beginning counter. It's been fun to notice patterns throughout the day. Who visits when and how many. Thanks for getting me started.

    Love the sundog.

  4. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  5. Beautiful post!
    I do love the variation of it.
    Greetings from Holland,
    Anna :-))

  6. Kathie, you have been doing a lot of counts. I have only counted for the GBBC from my yard. Love the beach shots of the gulls and the sand. The sundog is gorgeous and a beautiful sight to see. Great post and I enjoyed your photos.

  7. Hi Kathy

    I loved your sundog we saw one last week but I did not have my camera. It looks you are Spring there had a bit more snow today.


  8. Dawn, I if I know you and Jeff, I bet you saw some good ones!

    Kathryn it was fun but I wore myself out!

    Gaelyn, you are not lazy! You are smart! And I often count birds that way! Oh, and from my warm car with heated seats also! As for the sundog, I thought of you when I saw it!

    Gary, thanks!

    Anna, why thank you!

    Eileen, every count helps! I am so glad you did one! You don't have to be obsessive like I am. Even a count once in awhile helps!

    Guy, it felt like spring yesterday but today is a bit cooler with a cold NW wind. No snow and none in the forecast either! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Splendid set of pictures.

    I think it’s great to get involved in a birding activity other than just 'looking' - it feels like you are giving something back.

    ‘Pooh sticks’ is easy - all you need is a bridge, water, sticks and company!

    The bird on the roof top is a female Blackbird – it’s a thrush about the same size as your Robin.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  10. Wetlands, wetlands, my most favorite habitat!! Beautiful pictures. It's killing me that my camera broke. I'll just have to visit often to see your lovely images.

  11. A great collection for the GGBC Kathie, and a lovely series of photos from your excursions.

  12. Interesting! I love the shots you have posted, and i got interested in bird counting. I want to know more about this activity... I have a few birds flying around across my window once in a while... and they have lovely blue wings... ;-)

  13. Beautiful shots of the place. Nice place to do bird watching.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.